Operation Cast Lead Veteran To Soldiers: Do Not Give Up On Your Professionalism

Aliya Tal

Race Golani continues, and soldiers in training meet with injured Cast Lead veteran

Date: 16/06/2009, 4:44 PM     Author: Arnon Ben-Dror

As part of Race Golani, soldiers in training of the Golani Brigade arrived on Monday (June 15, 2009) to the Levinshtein Hospital in Ra’anana, in order to meet Nariya Biderman, a soldier from the brigade who was severely wounded in the head by a mortar bomb during Operation Cast Lead.

Nariya Biderman was immediately sent to the Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva, where he was unconscious for a month and underwent two surgeries, until doctors were able to bring him back to consciousness. Since Nariya’s comeback, he has been moved to a rehabilitation unit in the Levinshtein Hospital; he has made excellent progress in terms of his rehabilitation process.

“How did you feel when you entered the Gaza Strip?” one of the soldiers asked Nariya. “We felt strong,” shared Nariya, “You feel like you can do everything. There was no such thing as not entering due to fear. People knew that we were stronger and more professional, and we knew that giving up on professionalism wasn’t an option. Each one of you is a thousand times more professional than any terrorist you will encounter. There’s no need to be afraid. If you trust your friends – everything will be okay.”

“I received a mortar bomb to my hand, and if the medic hadn’t done an arterial tourniquet like he was supposed to, my hand would be worth nothing and my life would not be worth anything. These are things that you guys are learning now, and you don’t understand how important it is and how much you need to invest in the small details,” said Nariya as he spoke to the soldiers.

When asked what helped him to return and to rehabilitate so quickly from his fatal condition, Nariya firmly responded: “Will power. If you don’t have it, you will be stuck in the same place. There are people without will power who stay in a wheelchair and do not get better. Will power helps the most, and nothing else.”

The commander of the company that visited the hospital, Lt. Ayob Kiyuf, explained that this visit is significant for both Nariya and the soldiers in training. “First of all, it means a lot to a an injured person from the brigade; he doesn’t want the brigade to forget about him,” says Lt. Kiyuf, “and the soldiers see that the brigade adopts the person who is injured and sees it as a family- this is very important.”